Monday, November 26, 2012

the lazy girl's cleaning hacks

I am so not a homemaker. I kind of suck at it. If I were left to my own devices, things would be messy and sort of clean most of the time.

Our house is messy. It's actually less messy now that we have a kid though. We kind of figured out we can't just leave random shit around because babies like to stick shit in their face-holes.

I knew how to clean before. I taught myself a lot after I moved in with JP because, quite frankly, the man was messier than me, and sometimes dirty as well, so I had to clean up after him. I taught myself about bleach and borax and all kinds of stuff.

And then Willow happened and I realized I'd rather not have all those unnecessary and unpronounceable chemicals all over stuff that my precious baby would touch. So I discovered vinegar and baking soda.

I didn't believe they would work at first. I thought that if by some miracle they did work, they would work like shit and I'd have to scrub and scrub- and quite honestly, I'd like to spend the least amount of time I possibly can doing something other than being on r/gonewild. Just kidding.

But then I tried them. And holy god did they work. They worked faster and better than conventional cleaners. So, here's the lazy girl's guide to cleaning, aka my favorite cleaning cheats.

1. Microwave:  Put 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup vinegar in a glass bowl and nuke it. It doesn't have to be exactly that consistency or measurement. . I usually just pour some vinegar and some water in there and don't really check. Put it in for like 3 minutes. The water and vinegar will boil, steam up and loosen all the gunk stuck to the roof of your microwave from cooking spaghettio's without a paper towel over them. Once it's done, grab a sponge or a paper towel or a clean holey sock that you're gonna throw away anyway and wipe it all off. Much easier than scrubbing and scrubbing.

2. Shower/bath: Sprinkle baking soda on the floor of your bathtub or shower and on the knobs, then lay either paper towels or rags on the baking soda and pour vinegar over them. It helps if your bathtub/shower is plugged, that way you can let the shtuff sit there and soak. Depending on how bad it is, let it soak for a while, adding more vinegar to the rags/paper towels if need be. Sometimes I also add a bit of Dawn dish soap. When I feel like it's soaked enough, I wipe it down with the paper towels/rags, run water over it and voila! Done! If your bathing area is really scummy you can scrub the solution in and then rinse it off.

3. Shower/bath: I always keep a little scrubber full of 1/2 Dawn and 1/2 vinegar in the shower and scrub the walls down while I'm taking a shower. Why not? It takes 2 minutes and saves me a lot of time. I saw this on pinterest, and they were using a long-handled, hollow sponge. I tried that but it failed miserably because it wouldn't go into the small spaces I needed it to go, so I tried one of the little ones, and that worked gobs better.

This kind!

I really use baking soda and vinegar in almost every household task, from dishes that are super nasty (we all know those sippy cups that have been left in the car for too long get stinky and moldy), to laundry (especially diaper laundry), to mopping and disinfecting.

This is so much more convenient I don't know why anyone would spend tons of money on twenty different potentially harmful products.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

13 months!

My baby is not a baby anymore!

She walks, talks so much she can tell me exactly what she wants, and has made messing up the living room into a science.

Tonight is a rare night I got to myself, so I could clear the living room of toys and baby books, and I miss her so much. It's only been 4 hours but I feel like a part of me is missing.

She took her first steps trying to get to the in-law's dog, Buddy. That whole day she walked like a pro, toddling from JP to me and to her toys. The next morning she realized that she could fall, and since then she only takes a few tentative steps. I think she's getting more used to it though, and hopefully soon she'll be running through the house.

She also talks so much more/so much better! I can ask her where her dinosaur is, and she'll show it to me, but if I ask her if she wants to go see her dinosaur, she'll shake her head no or yes (no for the dinosaur because she's still terrified of it!). She understands the difference between going somewhere and knowing what/where it is.
Pip and Willow frolicking in the leaves. 

She's also said more words! Pip, my grandfather's dog, car, nose, toes. . But mostly, she knows what things are and is practicing how to say them. She know's where her hair/hat, belly, vagina (yes, we're teaching her the actual words for her body parts), fingers, eyes, teeth and tongue are.

She knows when she's making a poopoo (hooray for the first steps towards potty training. . Also, did I mention my baby isn't a baby anymore?!?) and has only peed on my mom's bathroom floor when her diaper was off (twice, so maybe it's because the floor is wood and she can see her pee?).

In other news, she's also developed quite an attitude. I've heard about the terrible two's, but I think they start about now and escalate. She's started yelling "no, no, no!" when she doesn't want to do something or knows she's not supposed to do something. . . Which is weird because we rarely yell at her, unless it's something serious and we need her attention right then. She's stopped whining when she doesn't want to do something or is put into her pack and play or excersauser and started talking angrily. It's adorable for about a second. She also goes limp and lays on the floor when we try to get her to go somewhere. But, all in all, her attitude isn't that bad, and really, what can I expect. . She's my kid!!

She has 7 teeth. Four on the top front, two on the bottom and one molar. It took a few weeks to get used to her having front teeth, but they're adorable and it looks like she'll have a gap in her teeth like I do! (D'awww!)


Edit: Holy god! I forgot to mention that she's sleeping on her own now. Yeah. I finally decided to get it done, so we changed her crib into a toddler bed, put it on bed risers so it was fairly level to our bed (which is on a box spring) and just did it. Obviously, I am against the cry it out method. Not only does it seem heartless, but I must confess that I tried it twice. It was a few months ago and even though I had heard all the bad stuff and really, really didn't agree with it, it was like 4 am and I was at my wits end. But it didn't work. At all.

So, what we did try is I nursed her till she was full, then laid right next to her, but in our bed, and she in her crib. I sang to her, patted her back, let her nurse (while leaning over into her crib) when she was crying harder than I thought was ok and generally comforted her. It took an hour and forty five minutes the first night. An hour and forty five minutes of crying. It was awful. But, I never left her side. I sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Goddamn Star until I honestly didn't even know the meaning of the words anymore. But she fell asleep eventually. The next day it was only about 45 minutes of crying. And now, on a bad night, it'll be 30 minutes of tossing and turning and trying to come into our bed. Usually she tries to make me talk or laugh or distract me. "Mama? Mama? Toes." *Bounces* "Dog." On a good night, she crawls into her crib herself, turns over onto her belly and is out. She actually sleeps better on her own!!!! And so do I!

I'm going to miss sleeping next to her, but it's not that different, because she's only two feet away from me now, and if she or I need cuddles, we have immediate access to them. I don't know if this is considered co sleeping, but it's pretty awesome.

Her sleeping right next to me was awesome in it's own way, but honestly, overall, I don't like co sleeping. (Crunch gasp commence.) Maybe it's because I have a fucked up back but it is uncomfortable and sucks most of the time. But this has all the benefits without being sandwiched between a snoring man and a snoring baby in a full sized bed.



Hanging out at Yiayia's house.

Dogs are still her favorite, and she can identify them, ducks (aka all birds) and cats with ease. She also knows cow, but that one is a little more difficult for her to identify, though she knows the noise they make. We're currently working on elephant, monkey, sheep, and horse.

A picture JP took of us for Sierra DeMulder's upcoming video of one of her poems.
<3 p="p">

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

he's so gay

Ray Boltz, a super, duper popular Christian contemporary music star came out of the closet a few years ago. I only just found out about it because, you know, I don't really follow that scene anymore.

He was one of my favorites as a kid. His lyrics were poetic and usually told a beautiful story. I absolutely loved him. My dad loves him too. Boltz is either his favorite singer, or in the top 2-3.

I hate to admit this, because it's kind of mean-spirited, but goddammit, I'm like a kid at Christmas! I cannot wait to tell him. Why? Because it'll irk him. He may even get rid of his CD's. But most importantly, I'm excited for my dad to think about this. I want to bring up a conversation about it that isn't initiated by him being bigoted and me trying to keep quiet while still defending the LGBT community.

Boltz very much still believes in Jesus. His blog features some of his newer music, very LGBT centered, because he's finally free to admit it, and also because most Christians/Christian radio stations shun him now.

Here's my favorite of his new songs:



I think it is absolutely an amazing story. He was married to his wife for 30 years. They had kids. But he started feeling like he couldn't hide anymore. And now he's a better person. That's really an inspiration to me, especially seeing a Christian be loving, honest and not an asshole.

How will I bring this all up to my dad? I'll probably tell him the news and then ask him to sit down and watch For The Bible Tells Me So, a documentary exploring and challenging fundamentalist Christian's view of homosexuality.

<3 p="p">

Friday, November 9, 2012

and now for our regularly scheduled programming

So, I've had a hard time writing lately because there's so much that I don't feel 100% comfortable sharing on this blog. Not because of my readers, but because of family or acquaintances from my past who may be judgmental or gossipy. I worry a lot about what would happen if someone were to find this blog and tell my parents about it.

I mean, I've told them about it. At some point, before I started sharing personal stuff that went against their beliefs, I even gave my dad the link. But, clueless as he can oftentimes be, he lost it, and my secrets have been safe.

That said, I have relatives who are friends with me on Facebook, and my blog used to feed directly onto my Facebook. My greatest fear is that someone will decide that it's their business to gossip to my parents.

This used to happen to me all the time as a kid. Obviously, it made more sense then. But, if you knew me, it didn't. See, telling my parents just drove me to hide things more. They were the worst people to tell. Now, it really doesn't matter what they know or how they'll react because I can leave. I have a safe place. I should own up to everything I don't want to tell them because it would make me stronger. . 

But I'd rather not. I'm a pussy. I don't want judgement, or tears, or talks, or having to get mad at them, or having to try to reason with them, or getting up and exercising my right to leave. It makes things messy.

I am my mother's lifeline. I hate it. But, I can honestly say that she very well might die with out me. Like, if I were to say, "hey, mom, you kind of fucked my life up a lot and I hate how you excuse it by saying that everyone makes mistakes", and then I left, she'd curl up on the couch and probably never move. I hope I'm exaggerating. I might be making this up. But I have seen her fall apart and I have heard her tell me that I will be the death of her, and that I will cause her heart to stop and her mind to break too many times to dismiss her words. 

So, to recap, I am terrified of my parents finding out about my blog and "you like girls?" "you smoke weed?" "you hate us?". . But, that said, it's really hard for me to not say what's on my heart. And there's a lot on my heart.

This blog is sort of my sounding board. I love it when people read it but I would keep writing if no one saw it but me. This is how I straighten my ideas out. This is how the clusterfuck tumbleweed that is my brain starts unraveling. I get stuck when I can't blog about things. 

So, for my own sort of peace of mind, I'm going to offer a disclaimer here: If you don't want to read about my fuckedupness, leave. If you're related to me, you do not want to be reading this. Why would you even be here in the first place? This is the corner of Bad Childhood and WTF Boulevard. If you decide this makes good gossip and I hear about it, then karma. Don't fuck with it. Also, I might just fucking decide to go all Kali witchy on you and if I do, it will not be pretty. 

I've been debating writing this blog for about a year and a half. Forgive me if I stall or repeat myself.

Lately I've been feeling broken. Abnormal. Even unfixable. I see the world and how it reacts to things and I feel so far removed. I don't/can't enjoy sex. 

Let me pause a moment and elaborate on how fucking embarrassed this makes me feel. As I mentioned, it makes me feel broken, but to make matters worse it's not a normal type of broken. When I was depressed or suicidal or had an eating disorder I guess I subconsciously took some sort of solace in the fact that this was normal. . At least for people my age. It wasn't that wierd. But this is. 

I sat on the exam table at my gynecologist and tried and tried to figure out some way to mention it offhandedly or even grow the balls to mention it straight up, but instead I just made small talk and told her that next time she should take me out to dinner first.

I pride myself in being an open book to pretty much anyone but my parents, people who tell my parents things, and my relatives. Anything. Seriously. Rape? Cutting? The shame I felt while binging? I find that the less secrets I have the less complicated life is. I also find that it opens people up to me and allows them to feel more comfortable asking for help or relating their own horror, or not horror, stories.

But this is haaaaaard. This is the first time I've really had to force myself to share. 

I'm not going to get into the details, because that's fucking weird, but it's forced JP and I to take a step back. Before we even started talking about marriage, we knew that we had backed ourselves up into a corner, and the only steps were to take the exit door or fight the Orc with the bulging forehead veins. So, we're at this point where we're fighting for our relationship. We're either going to fix our problems and start fucking like bunnies and get married, or we're going to take a step back in our relationship, at least for a period of time.

This has caused me a lot of anxiety. I realize that there's really no way out of this. I also realize that it isn't either of our faults. But it breaks my heart because my romantic, air balloon dreams of the pre-engagement, engagement and wedding period of my life have turned into this weird, awkward ultimatum. 

Sometimes I think we're being too intense. I've had people tell me that sex isn't everything, and I wholeheartedly agree! But, promising to be with someone for 80 years without an orgasm is daunting. There are greater women than me out there, obviously, because I couldn't do it. I would try, and I would, but after a few years I would get bitter and frustrated and we'd end up leaving each other anyways. 

We're young. And though we're each others best friends, partners, confidantes, and are always there for each other, there has to be more than that. At least for me. . .

I've struggled a lot about why I don't enjoy sex. I started going back to counseling, and ultimately have been dragging JP with me every week. There has been some talk of going from a regular ole grad-student-in-psych-interning-at-the-local-health-department to a full fledged sex therapist. 

There have been theories tossed around, from plain jane trust issues to remnants of sexual abuse to the weird way my parents raised me and how they completely refused to tell me that humans are sexual beings. Who knows what caused it? All I know it sucks really, really huge balls.

Now, the fact that this makes me feel abnormal and broken does not mean I'm depressed. I mean, yes, I am depressed about this certain topic, but for the first time in my life I am dealing with a major problem and not letting it control my entire view and way of life. 

I am fine. I enjoy life. I'm happy. I laugh, and play with Willow, and absolutely annihilate JP at Mario Kart on the '64. There are nights when I feel really, really sad and really, really broken. But overall, it's just a bump in the road. I finally feel like I know myself well enough that I am confident that I will beat the living shit out of this problem. I've been through worse. 

So, now that that's over, enjoy this not depressing picture:


You're welcome.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

animalistic accomplishments

If I were an animal, I'd like to be a horse. They're majestic, fast, and just fucking beautiful. . .

But honestly, if I were an animal, I'd probably be a dog. Like a shih tzu. They're kind of dumpy, kind of adorable and their hair is all DF:OIEIEF.

That was an easy one. Let's jump to the next question:

What are my 5 biggest accomplishments?

1. Breastfeeding for over a year. I would say having Willow, but it was kind of inevitable. I didn't do anything. Some moms will argue that they did work and achieve etc. during the birthing process, but I feel that when it came down to it, I couldn't stop it and I had to go along for the ride, so it was sort of something I endured. Wait, that makes it sound like having Willow was an awful experience. It wasn't. Parts of it were but all in all it was the best time of my life. Not an accomplishment though.

Breastfeeding, on the other hand, was something I thought of as a good thing, but was sure I wouldn't be able to do, at least not for long. I didn't want to do it. Formula feeding seemed easier, and quite honestly, though all the research and even the formula companies themselves said breast milk was better, somewhere inside me I thought formula was better.

But now, 12 months and counting into this milky mess, I love it. I couldn't imagine waking up in the middle of the night with a crying baby and making a bottle. No, siree. Rolling over sounds much easier (thank you co-sleeping!).

Reading all the statistics and research on formula I can't imagine how I thought it was better than the thing it was trying to copy. I am so glad I tried breastfeeding. . And kept to it even though I wanted to quit.

2. Getting published. Enough said.

3. Recovery. There are times I wonder how I made it, and there are times I forget it's been years and am instantly back at my hardest times. . But each day is easier. And though I wouldn't consider myself cured, I have reasons to keep living now.

4. Making my relationship work. I know we've only been dating for 3 years. I know it doesn't seem long, and it shouldn't, because 3 years isn't long at all, but there have been multiple times when the easiest thing to do would have been to say "fuck it" and walk out. It would have been easy, but not right. I love JP and though we're not married I want to stay by his side. I understand that sometimes relationships don't work out and am not scared to walk away, I just chose not to. Not now. Not until it's irreparable. I am not nothing without him. I am strong individually but I recognize that we are stronger individually when we're together. We aren't really boyfriend and girlfriend, we're more like partners. I love that.

5. Horseback riding. I loved it. It gave me goals and it was tangible. I really, really do miss it.

<3 br="br">

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

one!















Willow Rae

Age: One Year. 
Method of Transportation: Knees and hands.
Favorites: Dog, Batman, Mama, Dada, Yiayia, taking socks off, dancing, waving, kisses, squirming, boobies, stealing peoples food, trying to eat anything she finds off the floor, peekaboo, turning the Xbox on and off, opening cabinet doors by herself, shoving her hands in peoples mouths to see what's inside (free prize inside?), balls, books.
Hates: Getting snot sucked out of her nose (who wouldn't!?), long car rides, being told no, having a wet diaper, being away from either mama or dada.
Articulates: Dog, cat, duck, cow, mama, dada, milk, up, down, ball, stick, go, no, cake, mummum (food), yiayia, whaz dat?, bubble, and more that I can't remember right now. 

This has been the best year of my life. I would rather spend a minute with my smart, beautiful little girl than spend a lifetime with anyone else. She makes us a family.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

strong

I always wanted to be Xena. She was bad ass, sexy, and an individual. My parents wanted me to wait to be rescued, so that's what I learned, but I've always aspired to rescue myself.

Strong has been one of those words I've held on to when I wasn't. When I wasn't brave, I'd chant it like a mantra. When I felt powerless, I screamed powerful.

Here are 5 strengths I have identified in myself without qualifiers and without apologies.

1. I am strong. Looking at what I've been through, and knowing that I am still happy, still able to get up and get dressed. . I am strong.

2. I am a great mom.

3. I care for other people and their feelings even if they have wronged me.

4. I forgive people very easily. Grudges have never been easy for me to keep.

5. I am changing. It's the hardest thing I have ever done, but slowly, I am becoming stronger. Every day I find new things that I like about myself, and that is so much more than I thought I would be able to do.

<3 br="br">

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

weakness

Lately has been. . busy. We went to a farm today, tonight JP gets a second sleep study, tomorrow is counseling and doctors appointments and a bi-monthly shopping trip.

Wedding/civil union/handfasting plans are still getting tossed around. We want it outside, simple, and JP wants it within a year. We're thinking about combining our last names to Scarmont. Crazy idea, right? Here's our reasoning:

I don't want to change my last name. At all. I like it. Buuuuuut, tradition states I should take JP's last name. But I don't really like his last name, mostly because it's not mine. Also, because goddammit, I will not take the man's name he can take mine or we can hyphenate blahblahfeministblah.

Also, JP brought up Scarmont as a joke. If I got my doctorate, I'd be Dr. Scarmont and I could wear a lab coat and carry a beaker with bubbling green goo in it. It would be awesome. We'd buy an island, call it Scarbabia populate it.

And then he thought about it longer, and decided that awesome super villain plans aside, it would be symbolic of our new union. We'd be making a new family, together, as a team. Keeping our last names would be all seperatey and not reflective of our new united force against the world, but me taking his last name is unfair to me and kind of an archaic misogynistic tradition. So, a new name using parts of our old names is all adorable and sweet.

But we're still discussing it. I'm not sold 100% yet, mostly because I don't want to hear it from my relatives. Or his. And that is sure to happen.

Moving on. Five weaknesses I have.

1. I am lazy. God, am I lazy. I could lay in bed allllll day with a book. Or without a book. I love lounging. But thankfully I have JP to kick me in the ass and get me moving. Also, I can't lounge as nearly much as I used to with Willow around.

2. I can be a pig. Left to my own devices, I can really get messy. It's gotten worse since JP and I got together because he's a guy, and he's about a million times grosser than I am. That said, it's gotten much better since Willow was born. Also, it's worst when I'm depressed.

3. I'm quick to judge. Sometimes I forget that I don't know the whole story, or that it's none of my damn business and getting all judgy is just going to screw up my day and not theirs.

4. I'm not good with commitment. Of any kind. I get bored too easily.

5. I'm awful at interpersonal relationships.

<3 br="br">

a day in the life

A normal day for us varies a lot. It depends on if it's a weekend (I work) or one of JP's weekends (Wednesdays and every other Thursday).

On a day when neither of those are happening, Willow will wake us up around 8-10, depending on how well she slept the night before. Then we'll cuddle in bed and play for a bit, and then take a walk. Usually JP takes her by himself while I have some me time, but sometimes I come along.

After their walk, which usually lasts at least an hour and almost always includes the park and downtown Dwight for a visit with JP's parents, we eat lunch. Usually something easy and light like sandwiches.

We hang out for a little bit more, then Willow starts getting tired and JP starts getting ready for work. She goes down for a nap around 3, and he leaves for work at 3:45. I usually either nap with her or try to get housework done. . . Though sometimes I end up just watching Grey's or derping around on my phone while cuddling her.

She wakes up around 4:30-5 and we play. We'll switch rooms and toys so she doesn't get bored, she'll watch Baby Einstein, or we'll watch youtube videos of cats and dogs. Sometimes we dance, othertimes she's teething and we just cuddle and play in bed. Sometimes we take walks, or sit out in our yard and play with the grass. Once in a while I'll let her be naked in the tub until she's bored and then give her a bath.

And then at around 9-9:30, I put her to bed. She's started sucking at sleeping, so she might wake up once before JP comes home (12:20 or so) and then a few times while he and I are hanging out, watching tv or playing video games. We head to bed around 2-3 and thus ends another boring day in the Scarmont household.

*yawn* Seriously, guys, our life's a bore, but I like it that way. If you made it all the way through, you deserve a prize. . . So, here you go:


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

peeved

1. People chewing with their mouths open. This started at church camp when I would be laying in a bunk pretending to be asleep and all the other girls would be gossiping and eating all night. I could hear the chips crunch and the soda get swallowed. Gag.

2. Sexism. This isn't really a pet peeve as much as a real issue. Which brings me to the last issue of The Paper. Our dear Mr. Boma's topic this week was laundry. Soiled clothes. He bitches about not knowing how to do it until he arrives at the conclusion that he'll just find a pretty girl to do it. I can't wait for the day life slaps him in the face.

3. When JP leaves his deodorant on the sink. We have the tiniest sink ever, and it only has room for our toothbrush holder and toothbrushes, the "fancy" soap (aka the non-health food store soap, reserved for guests because the good stuff is fucking expensive) and sometimes the health food store soap. . Though usually I put it back in the bathtub because we use it both places. Anyways, there is no room for his deodorant which inevitably gets knocked to the ground and is loud at times when Willow is asleep.

4. Leaving unnecessary lights on. Actually, wasting electricity in general, though the exception is when I'm home alone with Willow, sometimes I'll leave lights on to make it look like we're not asleep because I'm a paranoid crazy lady.

5. Annoying customers. Like the guy who complained that Obama made his truck a gas gussler the gas too high. Or the man who was wearing a shirt using the word gay as a derogatory term.

6. When people say I have an accent. Apparently I say "bag" like "beg".

7. Which leads me to- herb. The h is silent. Completely silent.

8. Ketchup. Not catsup.

9. People driving on shoulders. Actually, bad drivers. I get road rage like crazy sometimes. But people driving on the shoulder or making lanes drives me the most insane.

10. JP talking about the same things over and over again. I have heard about how a guy wanted $20 for a broken down pachinko machine that JP only wanted to pay $2 about 80 times since it happened. . Three days ago. I offered to help egg his house but he's too chicken.

In other news, people in Dwight pretty much all suck. Some random lady I have never met decided she was mad at JP's dad so she was all like. . I wonder how he feels about his granddaugher who was born out of wedlock and hoitytoity I'm a bitch-face. . .

Also, JP and I are thinking of getting married. Or civil unioned. . Civil unionized? One of those. Still trying to figure out the logistics but basically it comes down to if either one of us is ever mangled unconscious, we want the other one of us to be able to visit us in the hospital/make medical decisions for us. Romantic, eh? So after we figure out prenup stuff, how taxes will work, etc, etc, we'll tie the knot.

<3>

Sunday, August 26, 2012

and then i lost my top

Howdy, loverfaces.

Today's topic is my most embarassing moment, but first, a mini Willow update!

She says "uh oh!" now and it's the cutest thing ever. Cuter than when she says mama. Also, she sings and reads herself stories (she'll flip the pages and say random words she knows or just babble). People tell me this is normal but, fuck you, I have the smartest, cutest baby ever.

Now, on to story time, this time illustrated. Aren't you lucky!

Once upon a time, I was on vacation with Rachel's family who I basically lived with at the time. We were at the Wisconsin Dells and they have this, like, surfing thing where there's waves and they teach you how to stay on the board. . Or try to. Whelp. . . I sucked. And one time it went like:

Sexy dude. Sexy dude trying to teach me to surf. Ok, I can do this.
I can do this!!
. . .
Do not want.

So. . It went like that, except I wasn't wearing a t-shirt that time. I was just wearing my bikini top. And with the strength of the water and tumbling up to the top, it came loose. Aaaaaaaaaand there was boobage for the world to see.

There you have it. My most embarrassing moment, in pictures, taken by Rachel's mom.

<3 br="br">

Thursday, August 23, 2012

passion

Wooohooo! This blog now has over 4,000 hits. That's crazy!!

Today's topic is about things I am passionate about. Five things, to be specific. Be warned, this is going to be a crazy hippie mommy rant.

1. Routine infant circumcision. Seriously the dumbest thing in the world. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) and most health organizations recommend against routine infant circumcision. . Because it's not needed and has no benefits. Some people say it prevents HIV, cervival/penile cancer, and makes a circumcised penis easier to clean, thus keeping it from getting infected (you clean it like you would a finger, with soap and water. . And never, ever, ever, retract the foreskin unless it has done so by itself, naturally!). All that is basically a big, steaming pile of bull shit. Circumcision was brought into popular medicinal use (not religious, like Jews) by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg of Kellogg cereal. Why? Because he was crazy Christian and said it would keep little boys from masturbating, which was a deadly sin. They also thought circumcision would cure epilepsy. . Man, were they wrong.

Edit 9/11/12: The AAP has since retracted pussied out on their stance on circumcision now stating that it may be beneficial. The Whole Network responded.

This is how a circumcision is performed. Sexual feeling is greatly decreased (I think 40% less, but I'm not sure of the number and can't find it at the moment) and what happens when something goes wrong as it too often does? Death, amputation, disfigurement, trauma. All a ridiculous risk for a cosmetic surgery on an consenting minor. If the kid grows up and decides he wants his penis cut, he can do it then.

The Whole Network has more information, if you'd like to check it out.

2. Equal rights. Can we please just get over stupidity and let people that want to get married get married? This shouldn't even be an issue. . Neither should circumcision, though.

3. Drug companies/Immunizations. We have put off immunizing Willow until she is at least 2 years old, but I would prefer never. The ingredients in vaccines are terrifying and just the fact that they have tried to contact me through text, snail mail, email and phone (all sponsored by Pfizer!!!) makes me extremely wary of them and their agenda.

4. General nerdery. Wonder Woman, Batman, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Xena, mythology, psychology, sociology. . . It's ridiculous how nerdy I am. If I wanted to, I would never have to leave the house because the internet would make me a total hikikomori. I have everything I need. Except snacks. .  .

5. Ending cannabis prohibition. I've never really talked about this on here, but I am quite passionate about it. I believe that the goddess put everything on earth for a reason, and that if we think some plant, bug, or animal is useless, science just hasn't found out what it's useful for. I definitely, definitely think weed should be legalized, thus fixing the economy (tax the shit out of it and pizza ((you know, for munchies)), and you'll save the economy!) and allowing it to be used medicinally, which might save a lot of people.

Some people claim that cannabis can help (or even cure!) sufferers of cancer, diabetes, insomnia, ulcers, arthritis and more.

Disclaimer: I thoroughly believe that too much of anything is a bad thing. Though no one has ever died from cannabis overdose (since they fall asleep before levels of toxicity reach lethal levels), studies are inconclusive as to whether or not heavy cannabis users can get addicted to it. So, I definitely think moderate use of cannabis is the smartest idea, because everyone knows bugging out is no fun. . But other than that, I fully support toking up.

So, that's that. There are tons more things I am passionate about, but for now, I think it's best that I cuddle with my kiddo in bed, because it's late.

<3 br="br">

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

on doing what i love

My dream job would be wading through the muck of peoples inner demons, sorting them into neat little piles with the edges trimmed out, labeling them, shredding them, lighting fire to the shreds and using the ashes to finger paint acceptance onto their memories.

I love awful movies. Movies where the protagonist gets murderdeathkilled, heroinfaceraped, and has to watch their family go through Chinese water torture. Seriously though. I love thinking about their lives, how I could help them, or what they're thinking and sometimes I can relate to them. Movies like that make me feel like someone understands something or other about me. . . Understands how it feels to be alone, or sad, or hurt or whatever. Also, a cathartic cry never hurt anyone, bitches.

I used to check out psych textbooks from my school library. When I was twelve. And read them all the away through. Multiple times. I was a weird kid, with a fascination for sadness. Again, I think it's because I related.

So, my dream job is being a psychologist.

Because I love figuring people out, and attempting to figure myself out.

<3 br="br">

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

ten months?!?!

My little girl is ten whole months old. Ten of them!!

She's crawling, pulling herself up on things and sometimes cruising along them, hamming it up whenever she knows she's got an audience and otherwise just being adorable.

She loves: her Dada, Batman, my mom, walks,dos boobies, swinging on the swing, clapping, pointing at things and occasionally waving when she feels like it.

She is scared of: her dinosaur, but is slowly warming up to it, random things when she's tired.

She says: Dada (constantly!), Baba (Batman), hi, bye bye, bye bye/hi dada/mama, papa, book and egg.



Before her glory days. (Don't mind me, I was pregnant and it was 100 degrees out so I officially didn't give a flying fuck.)

Guyyyys! It's bright out here. And my head's huge.
One month old!!!!


Baba!
10 months of cuddly happiness all rolled into one chubby package.

I love her so, so, so, so, so much!!! It's not even funny how much I love this girl, guys. Sometimes it scares me.

<3 br="br">

Saturday, August 18, 2012

what doesn't kill you. . .

The hardest thing I've ever had to go through. . Damn.

Um. It's kind of hard to pick one because they were all hard in different ways.

I think I'm going to have to go with loosing Chatham, and that whole time period in my life. Not only was having to go through an almost 2nd trimester miscarriage without a D&C awful, but it just ripped my brain to shreds.

I was also all alone in a town I was unfamiliar with, with no friends. I was depressed as all balls before I miscarried and the possibility (it wasn't a possibility in my head though, it was a certainty) of a baby drew me out of my depression and got me eating better.

That was actually the lowest weight I had been at in years, just skipping meals for days and even weeks at times. . It was just really easy to do by avoiding the cafeteria.

But-- I was eating. And tracking my intake and making sure I was getting enough protein (I was still a veggie at the time) and fats etc.

My med combo wasn't working at all and all I did was sleep. . In class, mostly. Actually, just everywhere. It was super embarrassing but I would just fall asleep when I didn't even want to (probably because I wasn't eating). My class notes go "and in 1852 General Batman sadhehwn iehfi hf fjeheiedhdi feejffh hie fjeejejefjeie.

Oh, and in the margins are absolutely awful things I had written about myself or plans about what I would eat if I could. Damn eating disorder. Even as I'm writing this I feel sad for who I was but part of me misses all of it.

And after I miscarried I dropped out of school because I couldn't concentrate at all.   But I felt like the biggest failure for dropping out. I knew I was smart, but I knew I would have killed myself, and to this day I know it was the right decision but I wish I hadn't made it. Now it's so much harder to go back even though I want to.

So, that's the hardest part of my life. It's a little random and disjointed but it's hard to remember because all I remember is a resounding DEPRESSED.

So much happier now. :]

<3 br="br">

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

wtf, the paper type people, and influences

Our local paper, simply (ironically, stupidly, etc. . ) named "The Paper" sucks. It literally hurts me to see it in my mailbox every Wednesday. After writing for both the Quincy Herald and the State Journal Register, I'd like to think I know good journalism when I see it, but damn, Dwight, what is this shit? Basically a calendar of events for Dwight and surrounding areas, The Paper rarely covers news stories.

This week, the upcoming barn crawl is front and center, while the Shopko that just replaced Pamida is on page 3.

At least Willow likes it (4 months old)
Now, I realize nothing ever happens around here (forgive my cynicism, I hate this place) so I guess I'll cut The Paper some slack.

Nope. Not happening. Because every week a column titled "5 Minutes with Boma" happens. A recent graduate of Dwight high school, Boma is also the son of the owner of The Paper. When I learned this, the world made sense again. . Because there is no way any person in their right mind would let this guy write for the general public unless it was nepotism.

This week, he listed his favorite foods. I did that in kindergarten. Cottage cheese and apple sauce, fudge cookies dipped in chocolate frosting-- damn, I didn't even eat like this when I was whale-sized, nine months into being pregnant with Willow. Gross.

The grammar is atrocious, the editing fails consistently and it just needs someone has a semblance of what they're doing to fix it.

And with that rant, which I've been meaning to make for weeks, I move on.

Ten people who have influenced my life. (Edit, for some reason I jumped to number 9. . . Crazy mommy brain.)

1. My boyfraaaand. I can't say enough about him. He's my best friend.

2. J.R.R. Tolkein. I have read the LOTR books 9 times in one summer. I'm a fanatic. If there was a street gang, I'd be their leader.

3. Jamie Tworkowski. Jamie has a blog at Jamie Writes and it's amazing. His words make me soar.

4. Walt Whitman. I have spent countless an afternoon sitting on top of washing machines having gay sex with men and being a crazy vagabond with untamed white hair. Also, he's my husband. Bon Jovi and Whitman.

5. Mr. Nicholes. He was one of two that visited me in the psych ward. His wife brought me a teeny little photo album and he brought me the world in the form of a poem. I still have it. It still makes me cry.

6. Professor Watson. She believed I was good at my dreams which gave me the courage to be good at my dreams. I learned to speak before I thought and chart sociology on star graphs.

7. Professor Udel. Not my favorite professor but her choice in literature is fantastic. Bless Me, Ultima, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Lies my History Teacher Told Me.

8. Joss Whedon. Buffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffy. Fan girl orgasm commence.

9. My dad. I'm so thankful I don't believe in the invisible man in the sky anymore.

10.  Is a tie between Don Miller and Sierra DeMulder. He taught me that not all Christians are crazy and ridiculous. Also, Blue Like Jazz. And Sierra's poetry gives me goose bumps.
 
<3 br="br">

PS: Good journalism, granted video journalism, to me, would be Philly D / Phillip DeFranco. The title of this post is a nod to him.

Monday, August 6, 2012

you make me smile like the sun

Five things that make me the happiest right now:

1. Willow. She's my light. Look at how cute she is!!!

2. That dude that hangs out at my house and sleeps in my bed and asks me to cook food for him. He's pretty awesome. Oh, he's also Willow's dad.

3. This blog. It amazes me that people want to read what I write.

4. Angel. Even though I've watched Buffy to completion, sometimes my friends show up in Angel. The show's not too bad itself.

5. Our family. This might seem redundant but I can't think of a number five. Also, I love us, as a unit. I love snuggling in bed together.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

dear annie

10 things I'd tell my 16 year old self:

1. It will all be ok. I know it doesn't seem like it but I promise, it will. You will be happy.

2. Your parents don't know what their doing. No parent does, but your parents especially don't know what their doing.

3. Stop wearing really baggy shirts. Stop it! It's not attractive at all.

4. I know you think you're fat and hideous, but you're nowhere near as hideous as you will be in a few years you look beautiful and you will look back in a few years and wish you looked like that.

5. Purging is not good for you. You will fuck up your teeth and your metabolism irreparably.

6. You won't always be ashamed of your scars. Some day, you will bear them like a warrior.

7. Too much eyeliner.

8. Get help. Waiting until you're older isn't a good idea. Do whatever you have to even if it seems like it will inconvenience your parents. They're not the ones that are living with all your demons and they aren't the ones that will live with them years from now. There is no better time to get help. Once you fall in love and have a kid, going to rehab or a psych ward will not be an option any more.

9. Read less. Go outside. Learn how to be scared of nature and other people less.

10. Disobey your parents more. It won't matter as much in the long run and contrary to popular belief (also see number 2) they're not doing what's best for you. Also, your "rebellion" isn't bad, wanting to do the things you want is actually just a normal part of being a human being.

Friday, August 3, 2012

book! and holy shit baggage!

Willow said book! It's the first word she's said other than mama, dada and hi (or more accurately, hiiiiiiiiiii!). The next morning she also said egg (aaayig) and tried to say kitty (keh).

Also, I think she's a genius baby because the day she said book she had pulled out 3 of her books from her full toy chest, dragged them to the middle of the room and then grabbed a book off one of the bookshelves, by passing all the toys and collectables on there. So, she pulled only books out. And I hadn't even said book all morning other than when she tried to grab my book and I said "No, please. That's mama's book." Freaking Rhodes scholar baby.

So, the next activity on the list is describing my relationship with my parents. I really don't want to do this one because our relationship is awkward and really, really hard to describe. Also, it's likely to cause the motherload of drama, but in the interest of figuring out my fuckedupness some more (JP and I have been talking about my parents and my upbringing a lot lately) and blogging honesty, I will try.

My dad: late 50's preacher-man. So much anti-gay, covert misogyny and just plain fear of the unknown. Also, he's a little. . . Lost in fantasy land. Like, anything that he doesn't believe in or like doesn't compute with him. That's the best way to put it: does not compute. Well, Jesus said that gays were evil so yeah. Or, I really want to be able to support myself and my family just by tutoring homeschooled kids and maybe by working a part time job in the summer. I have to like this part time job though, so maybe more tutoring or some Bible reading? Oh, yeah. He reads the Bible. Constantly. Like, he will get up at 3 in the morning and read the Bible.

He used to be a bit psychotic. Ok, a lot psychotic. Once I found a page of his writing talking about how he could instal locks from the outside of our doors and windows to keep my mother and I locked in our home. He wouldn't let me go to youth group because I might get influenced for evil.

One time, even though I made highest GPA in our school (ok, it was like 50 kids, but still) he wouldn't let me go on the honor roll field trip even though I was pretty much the only one that thought it was cool. Mind you, he was principal/my teacher, so he planned this. I watched the bus leave from my bedroom.

He and my mom used to promise to buy me a pet at the next house, well, ok, the house after that. . No, not this house, it's too much trouble. And yeah, that's not too bad, but when you consider I had NO friends or basically no contact with anyone my age and always hung out with their church people, it's kind of mean to deny a little girl a hamster.

They wouldn't let me go on any field trips at all my first few years of school (I went to a Greek public school and they tended to visit Greek Orthodox churches) and to make up for it they'd always tell me they'd take me on a family weekend trip. Nope, never.

Oh, they don't celebrate Christmas. No big deal, right? Well, imagine being the only kid in a whole classroom who has nothing to say when the teacher asks you what you got for Christmas in front of the whole class.

I also don't remember either of them buying me a single toy-- never mind, there was a doll and a teddy bear that my mom kept in a plastic case that I think I was allowed to play with once in a while. I remember once asking my dad to get me a Barbie comic book (they have fucking awesome things in Greece) and he said no because of something or other. . That's pretty much it.

Oh, and the fights. My god. My parents met each other when neither one could speak the other's language. They admit that they "dated" with a Greek-English dictionary between them. They were also set up, left to roam one of the most beautiful islands in Greece for about a week. So, they meet, decide they like each other after a week, my dad leaves for America, he comes back a few months later after a phone call or two and they get married. I'm not a relationship expert, but that seems like a bad formula. Sometime after they had me they figured out they don't really like each other too much. All this boils down to me stepping in and stopping physical fights.

My mom: mid-50's, Greek, sarcastic as all balls. To this day upholds that she did not influence my eating disordered thoughts. . Even though it was EATEATEAT. . my god you're getting fat all throughout my childhood. Even though I remember choosing low-fat instead of regular yoghurt at 6 or 7.

I was raised by my Thia (Aunt) Rita. She is my mom's best friend. My mom was in grad school for cardiology and either studied or was depressed all the time, so Rita watched me. I have almost no memories of my mother before I was around 8 years old. The only ones that come to mind right now are visiting her at the hospital while she was working.

My mother also always compares me to other people my age. Well, SecretWhoreyMcWhoreyson has pretty, long hair- look at yours, it's short and blue and ugly. But I'm only telling you this because I love you and want whats best for you.

They've both done their share of awful, and I was a typical crazy teenager. But then there was stuff that I honestly don't think I'll ever be able to forgive them for.

Like, after I tried killing myself at 15, they brought me home after getting me Arby's (a huge treat), sent me to bed and next morning re-enrolled me in the school my dad was principal at. Maybe they thought I needed more peer contact? Maybe they thought all day in my room reading was too much? The only thing they ever said about it was once my dad complained about the bill.

They also never talked to me about what happened after the rape and the psych ward stays. Never. Not once. They decided the best course of action was to pack up everything and move half a country away from all my friends and everything I was familiar with.

They did talk to me about cutting. That they did do. . . With Bibles pulled out. Leviticus was a favorite. The first time they saw my cuts they thought I was a witch (ironic) or a Satanist (granted I was going through a phase. . . ) and strip searched me.

They never trusted me. It was always everyone else's word against mine. They'd have long talks with me. . Hours long, about what the Bible said about this that or the other and how I did something wrong.

Once, when I was about 8, my dad sat me down and told me that at some point, all little girls start bleeding from their privates, but if I was a good, Christian little girl, I wouldn't let the hormones change my attitude and would maintain a happy, bright disposition like Blanketyblankblank.

I'm sure there's more. There's always more.

And yet, I keep visiting them. Almost every month. Unless we're having a spat, I talk to my mom at least once a day, usually 2 or 3 times. I still sit through car rides where my dad goes off about letting gays into the military and won't shut up and listen to me, or just keeps repeating himself over and over. Or where his reasons are "Jesus told me".

JP says it's an abusive relationship. He says I keep going back because I don't know better. I think he's right but I don't want to hurt them. I'm the only thing my mom has left. I honestly think it might kill her if I stopped talking to her.

 But then I think about Willow and I know I don't want her to grow up hearing the things they say. My mom started the "you eat too much" comments when Willow was a newborn. Sure, they were meant as a joke, but she always tries to pass it off as a joke when she says them to me too. And my dad keeps praying that Willow will grow up to be a woman of god even though he knows I'm not a Christian anymore. I don't want her to grow up to be a woman of god (necessarily, unless she wants to be! Then, though I disagree with her, I will support her) I just want her to grow up strong.

And my parents did not raise a strong woman. They raised a weak one. I'm not being self-deprecating, I'm being honest. I have an almost complete innability to stand up for myself, the things I believe in or even my daughter unless it's in writing or on the internet (fucked up, right?). I would rather have people walk all over me and compromise me (to, I'm reluctant to admit, almost any point) than hurt their feelings or offend them. I'm better, I continue to be better, and admitting all of this makes me better, but-- the point still remains that, to me, my parents are almost toxic. Their love comes with their hate, their ridicule and their bigotry.

So. . . That. That is my relationship with my parents. This post will probably make someone mad, but quite honestly, I'm getting past the point of caring.

<3 br="br">


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

death and all his angels

Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and how they became fears.

1) After Saturday, and having a car blow up in my damn face, I can definitely say that I fear dying. Not because it might hurt or I'm scared of the afterlife. . But of leaving Willow alone in this world. Of leaving JP to be a single dad. That terrifies me.

    So, now I have to tell you all the story, because it's crazy, and every few minutes I have to keep reminding myself that I didn't make it up. Saturday, I was at work, I was just getting ready to make a safe drop because I had been putting it off for hours and I had way too much money in my register. So, there's no one in the store, no one is fueling outside, it's quiet. I count money, get ready to enter it into the computer and I hear the worst sound I have ever heard in my life. It was really, really loud. I know that this was partially because of the intercom being on, but damn, it was loud. So, naturally, I looked outside! That's when I see a car on it's hood sliding straight at me. There were sparks and smoke coming off of it and it was coming STRAIGHT FOR MY FACE. I'm not even lying. Straight for my fucking face. Really, really, really fast. So, I run the opposite direction, thinking I could make it behind the counter or best case scenario to the kitchen or the back room and maybe, maybe escape with my life. I look back for some stupid reason and see the car airborne. I know I was yelling something about cars blowing up. . . So honestly, at this point, I literally had no clue what was going on. It was like time was standing still and I was stuck in this bubble, with tons of money in my hand and I didn't know where to run or what to do or say and I thought I was going to die. I thought of Willow. That was the only tangible thought I remember having. Finally, my coworkers came out of the kitchen and one of them, thank god, had her head about her to yell instructions. So, I shut off the gas, called 911 (they already knew about it, some cop had seen it happening) and ran out there. There was a man holding his elbow sitting right in front of the store door. Right next to him was a detached car door. I thought it was the man from the car and he had somehow, miraculously, gotten thrown from the car. It turns out he had gotten hit in the face with the car door but was fine.

So, this is how I have pieced the events together based on what I remember and what emergency personnel told me.

The guy, Michael Basso, 55 years old, from Woodridge, gets off 55 and turns right towards town. Sometime after that and before he gets to Dempsey's car lot (about 1/8th of a mile from the exit) he dies of something that I'm assuming causes his foot to clamp down on the gas, because of how fast he was going. He goes off the road, through the grass, hits one of the ramps that a show car was on, and goes airborne. He then crosses a road, comes through the Casey's parking lot and straight for the window that I was looking out of. Somehow, he bounces off the sidewalk, and then it's a little muddled. He hit that guy with his car door, crashed into the front of an SUV parked at one of the pumps and ended up with his car wrapped around the van of the guy who was hit in the face. In the meantime, he also managed to wrap one of our signs around it's pole, break an intercom and hit the bottom of the gas pump at a completely different pump. The signs and intercom are about 10 feet up.

Between running around putting "out of order" signs on all the pumps and selling cigarettes to some douchebag who decided he couldn't wait or go to another store, I finally realize that the guy sitting in front of the store is not the driver.

Lots of time elapses where we're cleaning the store because the super big kahuna lady shows up and freaking out because this kind of shit only happens in movies, and over 3 hours later they get the body out from under the car.

I finally went home an hour and a half after I was supposed to go home. I had to get a ride from someone because my car was blocked by firetrucks and we walked a very, very crabby Willow home. She hadn't eaten in 8-9 hours (she still won't take a bottle) and it was way past her bedtime.

Now that it's all over, I'm unsure of what to feel. People keep asking me if I'm ok, and I am, but I don't know how I'm supposed to react. I keep thinking I made it up, but the pictures are real.


2) I'm afraid of paranormal stuff. Ghosts, zombies, demons, even a good conspiracy theory will get me freaked out. At the same time, I love that stuff. But too much or at the wrong time and I'm in the corner crying,. Just ask JP. There may have been a time during my pregnancy that I cried like a little girl and didn't let him out of my sight because I read a description of a book about a guy who thinks zombies are real.

3) I'm scared I'm never going to amount to anything. I have so many dreams and so much I know I can do, but I'm terrified that either I won't have the money to do them (like going to school) or that my demons will keep fucking with me until I give up one way or another.

There you have it. Long time writing, but when I finally did, it was some good shit.

<3

Thursday, June 21, 2012

20 randoms

HOPESandDREAMS: 30 Things: gave me this idea.

1. I used to ride horses at least once every week. I miss it a lot and am really sad I couldn't continue. My favorite was jumping.

2. I have developed an intense love for hokey movies. My favorite by far is Dead Alive, a Peter Jackson zombie movie that is said to be the bloodiest movie every (judging by the number of gallons of fake blood they used). Most recently we watched Hercules And The Moon Men.

3. I love Baby Einstein. My favorite is Baby Shakespeare. Especially when I'm not sober.

4. I was an alcoholic. For about a year. I once told JP that I drink to feel normal.

5. I rarely drink anymore. Getting drunk isn't as fun as it was, and the health risks aren't worth it.

6. I love hoodies. They're comforting to me and I wear them year round, sometimes even when it's hot out.

7. JP's nickname for me is Snowflake. He says it's because I'm unique. I think it's because the day he decided that was my nickname I was running around the TJ Maxx parking lot trying to catch one on my tongue.

8. I can say really, really dumb things. Like, "how many beers are in a six pack?" or, at night, "is it, like, dark outside?".

9. Bo Burnam is amazing. My favorite song of his is Catholic Rap. "Dear God, dear Lord, dear vague muscular man with a beard or a sword. Dear good all seeing being, my way or the highway yahweh, the blue balled anti-masturbator, the great all-loving faggot hater."

10. I read Cosmo every month even though I find it sexist.

11. JP and I want to start a business sometime in the next 10 years. We want to call it the Handy Hippie. We'd go around installing solar panels and windmills and generally greening up businesses and homes.

12. I thought becoming a mother would profoundly change my personality. It didn't. I wish it had. I figured I would be more assertive and strong, but I'm only that way when it comes to Willow, and sometimes not as much as I should be.

13. Joss Whedon is my hero. Buffy is my favorite TV show. Firefly is a close second. Dr. Horrible was the first time I realized I actually like musicals as long as they're not Rodgers and Hammerstein. The only thing he's done that I don't like is the Avengers (and the Buffy movie, but he wasn't really involved so I don't count that).

14. I was profoundly fucked up when I was younger. Yesterday I went through some of my old binders from freshman year of college and in almost every margin I'm putting myself down or drawing skeletal figures. Or razor blades. It's so sad.

15. When I was a kid and we were in the car, I would say bye to every object I saw. "Bye tree, bye car, bye people. . "

16. So many bad things have happened to me that when I think or talk about them sometimes I forget one or two. "Oh, yeah! I forgot that happened too."

17. The last few years are the first time I actually remember being happy. Especially since Willow was born.

18. I have read the Lord of the Rings series 9 times in one summer.

19. I love vacuuming when there's tiny pieces of crunchy stuff on the floor. Doesn't everyone? But I hate dealing with vacuum cords.

20. This Christmas, our tree topper was Bizarro with his flag upside down. . . Oh, god. I'm a nerdy hipster!

<3

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

no posts?

I'm lame.

And there are only a few things that I don't feel comfortable sharing with you guys.

And those are the things that have been consuming most of my time lately. Those things, and work.

But-- here's an update!

Willow is 8 months old as of yesterday!!!! She's a happy but usually serious baby who's definitely a mama's girl. She waves, likes getting her armpits tickled, loves splashing in the tub, pulling hair (especially hers when she's sleepy), army crawling, playing with things that aren't made for babies, reading magazines, my mom, hairbrushes and not going to sleep. She still has no teeth, but is definitely interested in "human" food. Her mama is now "Maaaaaaaam!" and she has crazy separation anxiety. We're still nursing (go us!!) and she's starting to become very adamant about boobies when she's hungry.

I'm still working, and it's going well. I like getting away for a few days a week. It gives me something to do and something to talk about other than Willow and crazy hippie stuff.

That's about it.

Live long and prosper.

<3

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

social anxiety

I hate people.
I hate the way they talk too much and too loudly.
I hate how they smell bad or good too strongly.
I hate how they do things that make me want to punch them, or cry, or call CPS or PETA or the cops.
I hate how nosey they are.
I hate their reactions to who I am.
Mostly, though I hate how I feel around them.

I have social anxiety. If it were up to me, I'd stay home. . All the time. I'd rather stay home than do pretty much anything. Dealing with people makes me sweat, disorients me and makes me generally stupid. I feel and sound like I have a mental disability. I worry about everything. How I look, how I walk, how my hair is, if I'll be able to get the carseat into the shopping cart without looking like an idiot, if I'll get the cart with the squeaky wheel, if I'll fuck up my change because I'm so flustered. . . You get the idea. This is constant.

When I'm planning on going somewhere, I have to think about all the alternatives. I have to be prepared. And it's exhausting. It's exhausting to think so much about something that seems so simple to everyone else.

Sometimes I'm fine. Those times, I have JP with me. He's my anchor. He doesn't care what anyone thinks about him or me, and I know he loves me even if I do mess my change up and stutter. He's good with people. He breaks awkward tension with jokes- and even delivers them well.

I don't really know how this all started. I've always been especially afraid of people. Maybe because I was the weird kid. My mom was Greek, my dad didn't let me go anywhere or do anything, I had no choice over what to wear till I was like 13. Maybe it started because I was ashamed.

Maybe I didn't get enough practice with other people. I didn't really have friends growing up. I remember two kids I saw occasionally that I played with. I mostly hung out with adults, or by myself. When I was with my parents (which I don't remember happening as often as most kids, since my Aunt Rita watched me while my parents worked, and by watched me, I mean I lived at her house most of the time) they'd go to prayer meetings. I'd color.

When we came to the states I stayed in my room and read. I won reading contests. I drew. That was my life. I wasn't allowed to go anywhere except church- and by church I meant the sermon part, and sometimes Sunday school. Sunday school and regular school were a case by case scenario, since my parents changed their minds about whether I should be allowed to go so often. I remember desperately wanting to belong. I remember sneaking out to go to youth group.

I think that's when my depression became the monster it was during my teen years as well. If I went to school during that time, I'd go in the mornings, my dad would be there, and come home and stay in my room. If I didn't go to school, I'd stay in my room and do homework, read, write angry poetry, and starting around year 11 or so, cut.

So, I suppose that would be as good a place as any for my social anxiety to start. My parents loosened up, eventually, but years of self-injury, eating disorders, multiple suicide attempts, two psychiatric stays and a desperate need to belong later, things still aren't right.

I still feel like I don't belong. I still don't have friends. And though I'm much more comfortable with myself, and have for the most part conquered my crazy demons, I still feel like that 13 year old girl who has no clue what other human beings are like.

Will I ever get over this? I have no clue. I fucking hope so, though. It would be nice to think about going to the store without feeling sick to my stomach. It would be nice not to worry about if Willow is going enough new places without feeling like I can't take her there. I want to show my baby the world, and I will, whether it hurts me or not. . . But hopefully, I can get to a place in my head where I will enjoy not only her enjoying the world, but the world itself.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

the artist's way

Today I'm starting a series of blogs about my experiences going through the book The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. I'll be doing this in conjunction with my friend Karen's blog, so check her's out as well because we're doing it as a team.

The Artist's Way uses two basic tools, the morning pages and the artist's date. Morning pages are three pages of stream of consciousness writing every morning to sort of get the worries out of the way and clear the my head. I'm not supposed to read them again right away, but wait for a while and then read them, I guess for some insight into how my brain works. The artist's date is a weekly chunk of time (2 hours is what she said) where I go (or stay, I suppose, but that would be hard to do with le bebe) and do stuff. Anything, I guess. Walking, concerts, museum, bowling, movie, whatever. That's going to be hard for me. I always go out either with JP or Willow because my social anxiety goes crazy in the real world. If I do go out alone, I run in and out of the grocery store. . . And even then I hate it. Maybe these dates will help with that as well.

So, Karen and I will be chronicling our journey through this book. . I'm not sure what exactly it entails. I started flipping through it and got a little freaked out, which is probably a good thing, so I'll be taking this one chapter at a time. Karen has done this before, so if you follow her journey you'll be getting not only a whole different perspective, but someone who's a great writer and a pro at this whole finding your creativity thing!

I hope to get two things out of this exercise. Mainly, I hope to learn how to write even when I'm happy and everything's going well. I've never been good at writing happy poems. My writing started as a coping mechanism, and every time I tried writing not-sad poems they ended up sappy or stupid. Secondly, I'd like to shake the writer's block that plagues me every few months. Sometimes, I can write for months and months but then I stop. For like a year. Usually, it's when I'm depressed, and not being able to write makes it worse. . . So, Julia Cameron, I challenge you to fix my creative.

In the book she asks us to sign a contract, so I will put it on here so I can be responsible not only to myself and Karen but to you all,


I, Annie, understand that I am undertaking an intensive, guided encounter with my own creativity. I commit myself to the twelve-week duration of the course. I, Annie, commit to a weekly reading, daily morning pages, a weekly artist date, and the fulfillment of each week's tasks.

I, Annie, further understand that this course will raise issues and emotions for me to deal with. I, Annie, commit myself to excellent self care-- adequate sleep, diet, exercise, and pampering-- for the duration of the course.

So, there it is. I'm not sure if I'll be posting updates or other stuff along with the weekly artist's way blogs, but I guess we'll see.

I, Annie, am signing off.

<3


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

two years self-injury free!!!

The title says it all! It's been two years, which is crazy for something that used to be almost hourly for me! Go me!

I'm really proud of myself for the progress I've made and for how little I think of self-injury as an alternative to dealing with my emotions nowadays.

There has been a lot that helped with my recovery process, but JP has definitely been the biggest motivator for me. When I met him, I was just starting to get back into it, after a deep depression during my freshman year of college and miscarrying Chatham, but even after all that, it didn't escalate to anywhere near the level it had been at in previous years.

Poetry has also helped. I've written for years, but getting a little better at it (god, let's admit it, those first ones sucked really, really bad!) and even competing in a slam or going to poetry readings and getting more involved in the spoken word community, though not as much as I'd like to, has really helped. It gives me something to look forward to. This all started my freshman year when I heard Bluz on Indiefeed and then he visited IC and gave me his CD's (he's a great guy!) and then continued with Sierra DeMulder, who I was also introduced to by Indiefeed and is an amazing artist and person. JP and I went to one of her poetry classes last winter, before I found out I was pregnant, and we hoped to go back for the whole semester, but it's in St. Paul and I got pregnant and crabby.

Bluz:



Sierra:



The main reason I wouldn't go back to the awful that was my life is Willow. I want a better life for my little girl. She's my everything.

Happy Beltane. I'm going to go light some candles. Blessed be.

<3


Monday, April 30, 2012

job!

I'm a working girl.

I got a part-time, mostly weekends job at Casey's running the register. It isn't glamorous, and most days I come home exhausted with garbage "juice" all over me, but it's helping us make it to our goals, and for the first time in a long time I feel like I'm contributing and that we're on our way to where we want to be.

In other news, JP has an interview tomorrow for another security job, but here in town, which, even though it's less per hour, would save us $40 a week on gas, plus he'd get an extra 2 hours that he's not driving to spend with us! Hopefully he gets it.

Willow's freaking adorable. Every day I love this little girl more and more. She's the cutest, funniest, smartest little girl. She's the best thing I ever did.

In other happy, funtime news, I'm seriously looking into becoming a doula. I've actually had becoming a doula and a lactation consultant on my bucket list for a while and it just hit me about a week ago that I can actually do those! So, I'm going to be looking into training for those so that I can talk about lactivist/intactivist stuff with someone other than JP (who's heard it way too many times to care anymore!).


That's about it. This tired girl should go to bed.

<3


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

back to basics

Just a poem. First draft. Written forever ago. I wrote one today for my yiayia (grandma, in Greek) who died yesterday. I'm not quite ready for that one, so, enjoy.


You snort roofies through a paper cup
Hoping to drown yourself and let the
Numb rape your existential memories
Into dumb creatures staring at you like sheep.
Let the cavernous hole in your brainheart
Be filled by the smoke of the bubbler
Crowd surfing over your larynx and
Into your lungs. Let it make you forget that
There is hunger in the world and in
The pit of your stomach.
Shoot powder mixed with liquid life
Into your aorta and watch it bring
Color back into your cheeks and
Wonder at the thumpcraziness
Of your crazy beating heart.
Bake dreams into chocolate chunk cookies
And let the newness register in your
Stomach lining until you become
Happydrunk with the concept that
You can escape from the reality
That you have so carefully tried to
Avoid by using excuses not to face your
Biggest mistakes.

<3

PS. I'm blogging more. Aren't you happy? 

Monday, April 23, 2012

6 months and a few odd days

My nibblet's half a year old. Seriously. Here she is, in her JSB owl dipe, smiling at something hilarious I said. We went to the zoo on Sunday with some new friends and their son. She wasn't too interested, but she did seem to like the monkeys. Since then, we've been making monkey noises and she thinks it's the funniest thing in the world. :]

She: says mama, babababa, still blows raspberries, fake laugh/coughs, once said "gu day" on accident, and loves things she can't have. Her favorite parts of her toys are the tags, she's tried apples, bananas, carrots, and a bit of watered down apple juice but her favorite thing is still boobie milk. She loves banging her toys on the floor/table/surface of anything, throwing them, chewing on them and waving them around. Her favorite person is still JP, with my mom as a close second. She's given JP kisses, tries relentlessly to eat his tattoo, and likes dancing and talking with my mom. She loves walks, and trying to eat sticks, grass and flowers. She likes cuddles, tickles, Baby Einstein, taking baths, napping in our arms, when we sneeze and trying to steal our food.

This kid. . I love this kid so much. She's the best. Right now she's making a surprised "Ah?!" noise at her toys. . and yelling at them. She's the coolest. I could snuggle her all day. She's my favorite reason to smile, and making her smile and laugh is my mission on earth.

She's the perfect baby and I couldn't imagine life without her. <3

<3

Thursday, April 19, 2012

ode to the girl in somber


 I wasn't going to post this. It's a first draft.
But today would have been Raven's 20th birthday. This is my present. It's all I can give. 

~~

You never looked at me without looking deeply.
Piercing through me, your eyes made a beeline for my heart,
And there- you found something that belonged to you.

Passing notes and pictures back and forth
While the preacherman soliloquized about hope,
We found it, buried among ferns and thorns.

“Softly,” you said, “don’t break my consentration”,
But I barreled through your brain on awkward stilts
Just to press my lips to your consciousness.
I call this place home.

I’ve never eaten ice cream with a fork.
I have never attacked it, forced it to bleed before
Letting it drip through my lips like pearls of butterscotch.
You were a huntress.

I was far away the day you set sail,
Singing noisily, breathing through your nose,
Holding flowers to lay at your gravestone.
I would have stayed and sang with you.

Lately, every breath has a silver lining,
And this frigid winter may be ending
But I find no solace in this.
Winter is where I have made my home
And I have never ventured into spring.
                                          
You were my first reason.

<3